Who Is Gary (Vee) Vaynerchuk?
Some of you may be wondering who Gary Vaynerchuk is?
Gary Vaynerchuk was born in Soviet Union and immigrated to the US with his family when he was 3 years old. The family of eight lived in a studio apartment in Queens until they moved to New Jersey where his father worked at a relative’s liquor store.
In New Jersey he operated a lemonade stand franchise and also earned money trading baseball cards. His eye for deals and his natural sales talent had him earning thousands of dollars a weekend. By the age of 14 he joined his family retail business.
Vaynerchuk discovered the Internet and the potential to use it for profit while he was in college. College also led to the discovery that people collected wines and saw potential for a larger family business.
After graduating from college, he assumed control over his father’s Shoppers Discount Liquors and renamed the store Wine Library. He then created winelibrary.com and took advantage of every online sales opportunity he could. In just five short years the sales increased from $3 million dollars to over $60 million.
He has also been described as the first wine guru of the YouTube era. 2006 saw the creation of a YouTube vlog called Wine Library TV, which were produced daily. The popularity of this vlog increased to the point where Gary became a guest on Conan O’Brien, which drove the views up.
After 1000 episodes, the show was ended by Vaynerchuk. In 2014 he created a new YouTube show which now has over 130,000 followers.
His natural talent for selling and his critical eye has helped him achieve rapid success in his business ventures. The YouTube channel ended up blowing up, so he ventured into other social media sources to promote their brands of stores.
In 2009 Gary and his brother founded VaynerMedia which focused on helping large brands on social media. Early clients included the NHL, and now include Pepsi, General Electric, among many others. Vaynerchuk has also been involved with angel investing, and has had early involvement with companies like Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr.
Now, he is a multi-millionaire who runs these stores, has his own wines, owns businesses and wants to one day own the Jets.
To me, Gary is well known as the social media and personal branding king. He has also proved how important it is to adapt to the changing world, and how meeting your audience is important.
Gary Vaynerchuk is the ultimate businessman. Born with an entrepreneurial spirit, Gary is a proven investor and advisor in the world of startups, and now an expert on the Fortune 500 world.
Gary even has an awesome series called trash talk on YouTube. If you haven’t seen it, I suggest you check it out. Here’s this guy, who is super-successful and yet still goes garage sailing to show everyone how easy it is to make a buck these days. He’s buying stuff at garage sales and flipping them on eBay. Making hundreds a day!
The Elevator Pitch
Gary Vaynerchuk’s book Crushing It! is unique and refreshing as it highlights the stories of people who have found success after implementing his principles and best practices. It’s a “fluff-free” book that has value from the very first sentence.
Crushing It! is Gary Vaynerchuk’s follow-up to his personal branding manifesto Crush It, in which he reiterates the importance of a personal brand and shows you the endless possibilities that come with building one today.
If you thought that the topic of personal branding was “overdone”, think again! Here’s are 3 lessons that are both practical and philosophical at once:
Personal brands can be monetized in lots of ways, so you don’t need to create your own product.
When you have a restaurant or brick and mortar store, a personal brand seems like an obvious move. But what if you have neither a service, nor something to sell?
Brittany Xavier just documented her life as a young mom for fun on Instagram. Eventually, she noticed similar accounts tagging brands in their posts, so she started doing the same. Soon, those brands began reaching out and once she hit 10,000 followers, she began to charge for advertising them in her posts. Now, Thrifts and Threads is a full-fledged family lifestyle brand, focusing on cheap, yet stylish outfits, decor and more.
Crushing It! is Gary’s updated view on social media. He discusses the platforms, their future potential, and he also discusses upcoming platforms and Alexa skills (which is fascinating).
If you had no social media experience before reading this book, and then took Gary’s words and implemented them into your marketing strategy, you would have massive success in the social media space. Just by reading this one book.
There is a whole chapter on how the world is shifting. Everyone has cellphones now. We are hooked and always online. The biggest brands in the world have now made advertisements on different social media platforms a huge percentage of their overall advertising budget. This is where the people are! This alone should really show you how much you need to be involved in the social media spaces.
In part 1 of the book, Gary discusses how anyone can achieve success on social media. But it all comes down to the one constant — mindset.
Everyone has something they’re passionate about. Whether that is knitting, graphic design, golf, sneakers, and so on. In part 1 of the book, Gary discusses how you can turn your passion into money with the use of social media.
As mentioned earlier, there are 7 + 1 key factors to deal with when building a social media presence. Regardless of whether you start a brand or not, if you centered your life around these values, I think that’d make a pretty good life.
Good entrepreneurs make lots of money. Great entrepreneurs do it in altruistic ways. People can sense when we use them merely for our personal gains, which is why this approach rarely works in the long term.
Gary says you need to keep producing high quality content, with high consistency. And he highlights a key mistake people do: they care too much about the style.
Things such as design, camera angle, lighting, movements. That’s all secondary. When you are documenting your life, Gary says, aesthetics don’t matter. What matters is being authentic and speaking your truth.
There were numerous individuals included in this book that turned their passion into an income through social media.
One of the individuals had a passion for fashion. He and his friend ironed the word foolies onto white shirts. They would put the shirt on one person, take a picture, and then take the shirt and put it on another person. Then they would take those pictures and post them on Facebook and Twitter. They built awareness that way.
Create Your Pillar Of Wealth
The very first step is creating a Facebook page.
Then you should list all the relevant hashtags for your niche and content and start promoting your content with them. Then look for partnerships. Gary advises to message people in your niche directly and give something back.
Gary tackles the major fears and excuses people have before starting their personal branding.
Possibly the most interesting and concrete part of the book is Gary reviewing the major social platforms out there. The platforms that are discussed: Musical.ly, Snapchat, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Podcasts.
For each platform, Gary gives his thoughts about the platform and also gives examples of what kind of content he would post for each individual platform.
Also included: stories from others who have used that specific platform and how they used it to grow their brand and increase their income. These individuals give you the strategies that they have used for their success, so you can use them for your success.
This platform is very popular among teenagers and it’s mostly suited for entertainers. If you’re a singer, dancer, comedian… Start using those hashtags and collaborate over to Musical.ly.
The entire book is filled with actionable takeaways and helpful tidbits but here’s a recap of some of the key points I highlighted:
Thinking like a media company requires putting out content that will either inform or entertain your audience. Kylie Jenner, the CEO of Kylie Cosmetics, mixes up her product photos with a range of beauty, fashion and lifestyle posts. This creates a highly engaged audience that helps Jenner sell out of her makeup within minutes. Entrepreneurs often make the mistake of only posting about their products or services, but thinking like a media company requires creating content that is both creative and relevant without being overly promotional at all times.
If you’re looking to up your game in social media, then read this book. This may be the only book that you need to break through on social media. The information is all there, it’s just a matter of you executing.
The line between influencer and entrepreneur might be blurred in some cases. But this book is more for people who want to build a social media presence and follower base rather than building a company. For example, Gary recommends using Youtube for vlogs. But vlogs are not for everybody.
Nevertheless, Gary Vaynerchuk is widely considered an expert of social media because, well, he is doing well for himself there. So he does have the credentials to speak and he does have experience in it.
Actually, I love Gary. He’s one part inspiration, one part strategy, and one part tactics. So is this book. It’s easy to understand, showcases different social media platforms and how they work, as well as presents lots of examples of people Crushing It.
If you are serious about building a personal brand, you should look into guys like Gary Vaynerchuk. And Crushing It! sums up his views quite well.
Digital Dandy. Hacker From Heart. Workaholic. Coding Artist. Self-made.